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Auto Service Visits

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A few simple steps can increase the chances your car or truck is fixed right the first time.

When you arrive for maintenance or repair work, be prepared to discuss the problem in detail. Make certain the service advisor writes down a complete and correct description of each and every problem you've noticed--technicians rely on the information on that service order.

No need to apologize if you can't make the problem appear during a test drive with the service advisor. It happens all the time. Simply describe the symptoms and explain the circumstances under which they occur. Insist that the service people examine the car under conditions in which the problem is likely to surface. That may require leaving the car overnight. If parts must be ordered, the process might take a day or even a week, so don't expect miracles. Parts for low-volume models often take longer.

Letting the dealer conduct routine service, such as oil changes, may be wise. Regular customers tend to get prompt attention when a problem appears. Your vehicle will also be up to date in the dealer's records--a point in your favor if a serious flaw develops.

Don't leave the dealership until you're satisfied that all service work has been done correctly.

Keep a detailed record of service visits, including all receipts. Always be prepared to:

  • Provide full vehicle data: mileage, date of purchase, and Vehicle Identification Number.
  • Describe the problem and what's been done to correct it.
  • If you are displeased with the service, explain why and the solution you're seeking.

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